(AP) -- Three boys in southwest Michigan have turned up what has been identified as a bone from a mammoth.
The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reports brothers Ethan and Evan Hoge and their cousin Sebastian O'Connor found the bone March 21 on top of soil that had been scraped from a drain in Baroda Township.
Nine-year-old Ethan, 7-year-old Evan and 10-year-old Sebastian regularly spent time looking for antique bottles and other items around what was once a railroad line along the edge of their family's property.
But that day they and two uncles found the bone instead. Tom Goodwin, a professor of paleobiology at Andrews University, identified it as a vertebral section from the lower back of a Jefferson's mammoth.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: The world's oldest known snake fossils: Rolling back the clock by nearly 70 million years